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Citi to Hire 350 Bankers to Push Asia Commercial Lending

The business, which serves mid-sized and emerging corporates, will place a majority of these hires in China, Hong Kong, India and Singapore

Under Jane Fraser, Citigroup is exiting many consumer banking markets. Photo: Reuters


Citi Commercial Bank Asia Pacific plans to hire close to 350 people in the region over the next three years to accelerate growth, the US bank said.

The business, which serves mid-sized and emerging corporates with annual revenues of between $10 million and $3 billion, will place a majority of these hires in China, Hong Kong, India and Singapore.

In China, CCB plans to add over 80 new hires, and in Hong Kong, the business will add close to 100 additional people.

About 80 hires in India and 30 in Singapore would be be made, the bank said, adding that globally, it plans to hire 900 people, including 400 commercial bankers, over the next three years.

The Asia Pacific hiring represents the largest investment in headcount for Citi Commercial Bank globally.

“Asia Pacific is home to a rapidly growing number of new and emerging corporates, as well as mid-sized companies, that are aggressively pursuing growth,” Rajat Madhok, Asia-Pacific head of Citi Commercial Bank, said.

“These companies can also access Citi’s broader institutional expertise across cash management, trade, and financing opportunities as they address growth challenges and opportunities.”

Madhok said its mid-market clients are aggressively pursuing growth and expansion outside of their home markets. The bank would work closely with Citi’s global wealth management business, he added.




Wealth Management

The corporate finance hires are part of Citi’s strategy to focus on higher-margin sectors as it abandons most retail banking in Asia.

Last year the bank said it would exit consumer markets in China, India and 11 other mostly Asian markets. Jane Fraser, the lender’s chief executive, said it would abandon markets where “we don’t have the scale we need to compete”.

Fraser, who took the top job in March 2021, described the pivot as part of an effort to “double down” on wealth management, where the growth opportunities are better.

Citigroup will focus its Asian consumer banking business on Singapore and Hong Kong, she said, adding that the UK and the United Arab Emirates would be the other global hubs.

Citigroup’s global consumer banking business at the end of 2020 had $6.5 billion in revenues and $123.9 billion in deposits. The bank has about 200 branches in Asia.


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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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